EMWD awards contract for Hunter Tank telecommunications tower

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Carbon Activated Corporation will construct three communications towers on Eastern Municipal Water District tanks, including the Hunter Tank in Murrieta.

The EMWD board voted 5-0, Oct. 7, to award Carbon Activated Corporation the contract for the Compton company’s bid of $556,765. The work will also include communications towers on top of the Sky Mesa Tank in Homeland and the Broderson Tank in Moreno Valley.

EMWD’s business telecommunications network provides service for data, phones, cameras and security systems. The business network is accessible from water reclamation facilities, water production facilities, the customer service call center and other remote facilities.

“The network is growing. We need to be able to transfer that data in an efficient manner,” Shawn Stone, EMWD director of engineering, said

The district’s reliance upon telecommunication services, network reliability and service redundancy has increased, and Eastern’s bandwidth needs and reliance on network connectivity for the business network and security/access control systems have also increased significantly over the past 10 years. Eastern desires to improve its system reliability, scalability and capacity by utilizing a fully redundant telecommunications network architecture.

EMWD staff prepared a request for proposals earlier this year, and two bids were received by the June 15 deadline. One of those bids was deemed nonresponsive and the other significantly exceeded the engineer’s estimate. EMWD staff determined that re-bidding the project would result in additional contractor responses and more competitive bids, and the board concurred with a 5-0 vote, Aug. 5, to reject all bids received in June and to rebid the project.

A new request for proposals was issued with a Sept. 3 response deadline.

“We re-bid the project,” Stone said.

Three bids were received, and all three bids were under the engineer’s estimate of $635,000.

“We were much happier,” Stone said.

Carbon Activated Corporation had the low bid at $556,765. The next lowest bid of $567,500 was submitted by Diversified Communications Services, which is headquartered in Brea.

The EMWD board had previously budgeted $30,000 for the project to cover final design, specifications review, bid and award costs. The Oct. 7 action appropriated an additional $733,000 to cover construction and administrative closeout costs, which brings the total budgeted amount to $763,000. In addition to the construction contract the district expects expenses of $30,000 for inspection services, $30,000 for contract administration, $30,00 for in-house engineering labor, $20,558 for maintenance labor and $10,000 for close-out phase labor and the budgeted amount also includes $55,677 for contingencies.

The Hunter Tank is in the 29000 block of Hunter Road.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at jnaiman@reedermedia.com.